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Life after neonic insecticides

A striped flea beetles feeds on a canola plant amid testing insecticides and the affects they can have on canola.

by Heather Grande

Canola growers will want to follow Farming Smarter’s research into effective ways to combat flea beetles on canola without the use of neonic pesticides.
Neonic has been the pesticide of choice for many years because the seed treatment protects plants without the need of spraying as they mature.
In recent years the Pest Management Regulatory Agency conducted research that suggested neonic pesticides may have some dangerous properties with continued use.
Farming Smarter began a research project with Dr. Hector Carcamo, AAFC, to find the most effective way to combat flea beetles. The study includes tests of different pesticides or higher seed counts to give more plants a chance to survive.
This is the first growing season of the two-year project funded mainly by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
Already as the canola begins to grow, you can see different insecticides and methods causing effects. Lewis Baarda, Farming Smarter On-Farm Research, manages the research project around neonic pesticides. Baarda says the study will look at the effectiveness of many different methods and if they are financially doable.
“Where trying to come up with what does it look like if neonic is banned, what are best options, how well do they work, and the economic consequences,” said Baarda.
As the crops continue to grow throughout the summer, technicians will periodically monitor damage ratings to assess which method can help canola withstand flea beetles and provide a large yield.
Bookmark Alternative flea beetle management without neonicotinoids to keep up with the project as it progresses.

Farming Smarter is testing insecticides that are effective against flea beetles on canola plants. Some plants show severe damage by flea beetles.